Saturday, September 10, 2022

Two Poems by Erren Kelly


Verity is from the roux, made from flour, spices and ingredients
burned into a color dark as me, no other color which holds truth

Verity is in sausages, which hogs sacrificed themselves, which
artful cajuns and black people made, with spices that sing of the bayou

Verity is from the chicken, I once chased around in my grandmother's yard
which brings the flavor of the south, into a joyful evanescence

Verity is from the oysters, that can hold the pearls of dreams
I open one and zydeco songs cry out to me

Verity is from the okra, green and slimy, yet hold worlds
of flavor, a good cook/magician can conjure out

Verity lies in the shrimps, the jewels of the sea
that nets caught, filled to bursting, as fisherman thanked god for mana

Verity lies in the crabs, my birth sign and spirit animal
always hungry, always hunting, always seeking more

Verity lies in Tony Chachere's seasonings, and Tobasco, which
run thick and red as my own blood, running true

Let this be my doxology, my praise song, I dip my
French bread into, dear heavenly father, give me food of life
your mercy and your love I praise

That I may continue to know the joy of you
all my life long days . . . 

The Soprano Warms Up

and the world becomes an inferno
and all of Italy comes out of her mouth
like Maria Callas, her beauty is captured
in a moment

yet, she becomes infinity

her c note like Renee Fleming
soothes like a cold compress
across the brow

she sings and the world stops

all lace and storms and dreams and
daylight, comes out of her mouth

Caro Mio Bein . . .

and a nation stops raging and notices

how a woman stands alone on stage
fragile as a flower

but holds in her voice, the power of armies . . .

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